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Oldest Condiments in Your Fridge

Condiments

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52 replies to this topic

#31 Margaret Pilgrim

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 11:59 AM

I keep a perpetual cornichon crock in the fridge. It's been there for some dozen years, never completely emptied before I tip a new jar in. I just consider them "aged". I also bought a half-litre snap-lid jar of anchovy that took us at least 5 years to get through. They were fine; lost a little toothsomeness, perhaps, but fine. :biggrin:
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#32 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:24 PM

My personal record is probably a five year old bottle of Ole green aji hot sauce. I bring it out for guests, because it really doesn't do anything for me.
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#33 Kathyann

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 02:32 PM

I don't have any terribly aged condiments, but recently my sister dug out a container of food coloring for her daughter, only to discover it had expired in 1963. It had been inherited from my mother, who died in 1983. My niece decided to spring for some new ones : )

#34 merstar

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 04:05 PM

Ketchup, chili paste with garlic, harissa, chipotle in adobo, and raspberry jam.
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#35 SylviaLovegren

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:00 AM

Good Umeboshi plums will last for years.


See, there's your problem right there -- no such thing as a good umeboshi plum. :rolleyes:

#36 Smithy

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

I don't have any terribly aged condiments, but recently my sister dug out a container of food coloring for her daughter, only to discover it had expired in 1963. It had been inherited from my mother, who died in 1983. My niece decided to spring for some new ones : )


How can food coloring go off? Other than drying up in the bottle, of course. I've had that happen.

I have some duck fat and duck jello that I've been hoarding for a few years, back when duck fat was all the rage on eGullet and I had time to render some. Looks and smells okay, but it's at leas 3 years old and possibly older. If I get around to using it instead of tossing it I'll give it a really good cookdown first. If some reader KNOWS that I'd be courting food poisoning, please let me know.

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#37 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:36 PM

I suppose that food coloring from 1963 could still have Red Dye No. 2, which may not have merited all the paranoia it caused, but which would be easy enough to avoid.

#38 andiesenji

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:59 PM

I found a large, unopened jar of Branston Pickle back in a dark corner under a shelf in the pantry. It was BEHIND a crock wrapped in a newspaper dated Sunday October 29, 1995. The crock was behind some boxes of "junk" that has been back there for at least ten years.

Opened the jar, it looks, tastes and smells exactly like I expect it should.

A bright spot is that the box contained an ancient cast iron bacon press I thought lost forever.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#39 naguere

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:26 AM

Taetangcho gochujang

Korean Hot Pepper Sauce

The small red box is half full and works fine,

it says on a label (in English) best before 04.07.2010

In that way, I finished off a jar of Nutella last month, it was pretty funky but

the sign on the jar 'Best befor 2006' should have warned me :wink:


andiesenji


Branston pickle, food of the Gods,

what else would go as well with a strong cheddar cheese sandwich

'Shelf life,To the end of time'

Edited by naguere, 29 May 2012 - 05:29 AM.

Who cares how time progresses..

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#40 Chris Hennes

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

I have few jars of homemade strawberry jam that I made when I still lived in Pennsylvania, so they must be about five years old now. I can't decide whether I trust my canning skills enough to actually eat them, though.

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#41 andiesenji

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:41 PM

I have few jars of homemade strawberry jam that I made when I still lived in Pennsylvania, so they must be about five years old now. I can't decide whether I trust my canning skills enough to actually eat them, though.


As long as there is no mold visible, there should be no problem with jam. The acid/sugar content is too high for dangerous pathogens to live. I've used homemade apricot and peach preserves that were more than five years old. The only home-canned sweets I don't keep for more than two or three years are curds (made with eggs) and apple jelly, which seems to get a bit funky and looks sort of murky, instead of clear, after that amount of time.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#42 rane008

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:04 PM

My mom once told me that when a couple gets married, they buy a bottle of Worchestershire sauce. That same bottle stays in the fridge until they both pass away. My own bottle is a decade old and I'm not married. (Note: I do not think that the presence of eldritch condiments in my fridge is the reason I am not married.)

#43 patrickamory

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

I have some extremely old mustards. Whole grain French pommerys and similar. They don't seem to go bad.

#44 gfweb

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:06 PM

Is liquid smoke a condiment?

#45 Kerry Beal

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:32 PM

My mom once told me that when a couple gets married, they buy a bottle of Worchestershire sauce. That same bottle stays in the fridge until they both pass away. My own bottle is a decade old and I'm not married. (Note: I do not think that the presence of eldritch condiments in my fridge is the reason I am not married.)


Old joke - "did you hear about the couple that were married so long - they were on their second bottle of tabasco sauce?"

#46 Katie Meadow

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 09:00 PM

Tabasco sauce contributes to my long marriage: my husband and I both agree that when there is no food in the house a complete emergency meal can be composed of a bloody mary and stove popped corn. You've got your vegetables, carbs, fiber and protein. Okay, not so much protein. But at least the solid portion of the meal is home cooked and fresh from the pot.

What gets old in my fridge and then gets replaced every ten years or so is a jar of capers. I think they are essential but in fact I don't really like them, so I avoid using them.

#47 Darienne

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:05 AM

My mom once told me that when a couple gets married, they buy a bottle of Worchestershire sauce. That same bottle stays in the fridge until they both pass away. My own bottle is a decade old and I'm not married. (Note: I do not think that the presence of eldritch condiments in my fridge is the reason I am not married.)

When I was a young'un, my Mother taught me to make salad dressing (the only thing cooking-wise I ever learned from her) and it always had a dash of Lea & Perrins. Now I have been married 52 1/2 years and we currently have two bottles on the go, and have run through an uncounted number of bottles over the decades. I don't always use it, it's true, but it is a part of life.

ps. My parents were not of British extraction either.

What dries out to the point of being tossed is pure creamed coconut which I still don't 'know' how to use. Our daughter's Grenadian BF, who is a terrific cook, uses it when he comes and needs it. Otherwise it sits and takes up its space, unhonored.
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#48 qrn

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 05:05 PM

My oldest stuff is in the freezerpart of the fridgeand there is lots of stuff vac packed that is older than I can remember,only redeeming thing is that I used a black magic marker to note on the bag what it is,,,,fixed some ham the other day that was 4 years old....at least
Bud

#49 Kerry Beal

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

Not exactly a condiment - but I just discovered a tub of mascarpone that is either best before 08 Nov 2006 or 06 Nov 2008. Either way a titch past it's time. Strange thing is - it's sealed behind plastic and looks just the same as the new tub I have in the other fridge. Don't think I'll risk it though!

#50 weinoo

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:57 AM

I have some extremely old mustards. Whole grain French pommerys and similar. They don't seem to go bad.

While they "don't seem to go bad," I find mustards lose their potency fairly quickly and are not the same as when first opened. Since I go through a lot of mustard, I always check the sell-by dates and try to purchase whatever appears to be the freshest stuff.
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#51 toolprincess

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

Just tossed 2 unopened jars of mayonaise that expired in 2010 and 2011. I just couldn't bring myself to eat them. I have a Nutella (unopened) that expired 4 months ago. Still undecided about that.

I have some tomatoes I canned 3 years ago. Can't bring myself to eat them. Don't trust my canning skills.

At my mother-in-laws I've now been presented with 2 salad dressings as choices for dinner - one that expired in 2008 and one that expired in 2010. Last night we had dinner with them and she offered me A1 for my steak until she realized that it expired in 2004. Yeah I always check her stuff!

In college I often babysat for a family who I called stomachs of steel family. They would eat anything that was in the fridge with no concern for expiration dates as long as it "seemed" fine. They also had no timeline for getting rid of leftovers, so I rarely ate anything out of their fridge (leftover wise) unless the kids could vouch that it was from a recent meal.

#52 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 06:57 PM

So one thing this thread has made me aware of is the crazy pricing psychology that makes us do this sort of thing. I mean, even if a 15 oz jar of mayonnaise costs $3, and a 30 oz jar costs $4, I should really buy the smaller jar, if I can't use the bigger jar by the expiration date. It will take up less space in my fridge, and I won't spend months wondering, "is this still good? well it smells ok and isn't moldy, should be okay," and amortized over a year or however long commercial mayonnaise is supposed to last, the small jar isn't such an extravagance in the overall annual budget picture. I can and do make my own mayonnaise, so it's not like I'm going to get caught short, if I use it all up. I just keep it around as a convenience. I've gone for years without having a jar of mayonnaise in the fridge.

I ran out of Tabasco sauce I think a year ago, and I've been considering purchasing another bottle. Maybe I'm holding off, because it seems like such a long-term commitment. I have other hot things around, so it hasn't been too urgent to replace it, but next time, I'm getting the small bottle, even if the larger bottle is cheaper per ounce.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb, 06 August 2012 - 06:57 PM.


#53 ChrisOC

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:50 AM

I went to mix a martini the other day for the first time in I don't know how long. My vermouth was the color of cider vinegar. My closeset guess is that it was at least 3 years old.
Chris

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